Five more questions before you graduate: Brook Tsai

Brook Tsai

Don’t be afraid to approach your lecturer to discuss your ideas – from my experience, they’re usually very happy to see that you’re passionate about something.

Why did you decide to study law?

I was drawn to the lifestyle of studying at ANU and most of the people I met when I visited the campus on Open Day in Year 12 happened to study law, so it seemed like a safe choice – admittedly not the most informed decision-making, but life works out in mysterious ways.

What was the best thing about your time at ANU College of Law?

Constantly being surrounded by academics and peers who inspired me to develop myself into the best version possible. It sounds incredibly cliché, but I wouldn’t have achieved half of what I have without their unwavering support.

What would you say to someone who is thinking about studying law?

Be open-minded and don’t be discouraged if it doesn’t all make sense straight away. If you can, take the time to figure out how you learn most effectively as this will make studying much more enjoyable. Then you can focus your energy on discovering what it is about the law that interests you.

Was your most memorable lesson/piece of research from your degree?

Taking part in the International Organisations program in Geneva at the end of my third year sparked my interest in the WTO, so I wrote my paper for that course on the increasing intersections of environmental protection standards and international trade law. I was able to further explore the broad reach of WTO law in electives such as Intellectual Property, for which I researched how the patent protection system mandated by the TRIPS Agreement fails to adequately accommodate the public health interest in developing countries, and International Trade Law, where I explored the implications of Regional Trade Agreements as carriers of ‘TRIPS-Plus’ standards on access to medicines in developing countries.

If I can offer another small piece of advice, make the most of the research components in elective courses by either challenging yourself to learn about something completely foreign or pursuing an existing interest more deeply, and don’t be afraid to approach your lecturer to discuss your ideas – from my experience, they’re usually very happy to see that you’re passionate about something, even if you rock up to their office as a confused mess with 15 potential research topics, half of which you realise don’t make any sense after saying them out loud.

What’s next?

I’ll be working at King & Wood Mallesons in Hong Kong for a month before starting as a full-time graduate at their Sydney office in February.

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Updated:  10 August 2015/Responsible Officer:  College General Manager, ANU College of Law/Page Contact:  Law Marketing Team